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Before, during and after the operation

In the near future, you will undergo an operation, and it is important that you are well prepared. What exactly can you expect?

  • Prior to the operation; how to prepare yourself
  • On the day of your operation
  • When are you expected
  • After the operation
  • Preparation for departure home
  • Back home

If you still have any questions, please do not hesitate to put them to the anaesthetist or nurse


  1. Relaxation
    It is important that you are rested and relaxed on the day of the operation. Ask your GP for a sleeping tablet if you have difficulty sleeping;
  2. Do not smoke
    Smoke as little as possible in the weeks prior to the operation; certainly do not smoke on the day before it. Smoking affects wound healing and may also have a detrimental effect on the anaesthesia;
  3. Companion
    It is important that someone is present to accompany you. The treatment may affect your capacity so much that returning home independently – whether by car, bicycle or public transport – is irresponsible. If you take any medication, inform your treating specialist and/or the anaesthetist. It may be that you have to suspend taking these medicines temporarily. This applies mainly to blood-thinners (anti-clotting drugs). It is a good idea if you can have an adult at home with you during the night after your operation.


For your operation to proceed well, you must keep to the following rules:

  • Do not wear any piercings
  • Do not wear any make-up/body lotion (not even a little)
  • Do not wear any jewellery

What to bring with you to the clinic:

  • Loose-fitting clothing;
  • The phone number of the person who will come and collect you: they need to be available and reachable at any time! If applicable:
  • Equipment to measure your blood sugar and insulin syringe;
  • Crutches;
  • Orthopaedic footwear;
  • Contact lens necessities or spectacle case;
  • A sport bra (in the case of a breast operation).

It is very important not to have eaten or drunk anything. This prevents nausea and/or vomiting during and after the operation. You may eat up until midnight (on the night before your operation). Until two hours before the operation, you are allowed to drink clear fluids (only water and/or tea without milk, nothing else!)

On the day before the operation, please call theatre planning (020-3055810) to hear when you need to be present. Ensure you are at the Jan van Goyen Medical Centre at the agreed time. Once you have reported to reception, go to the waiting room on the ground floor.

The receptionist will guide you further to the theatre complex. In this department, you will be received by the nurse who is the contact point during your stay, and will look after you. The nurse will ensure that you speak to the surgeon and anaesthetist before you have surgery. You can also put any remaining questions to them.

Remain in the recovery room
After your operation, we will bring you to the recovery room, where a nurse will connect you to a monitor. We will monitor your blood pressure, breathing and heartbeat for a certain length of time. Your surgical wounds will also be checked, and it is possible to have a snack and something to drink. Sometimes it is necessary that drains remain in the wound area. The surgeon will have discussed this with you.

The medicines you receive after surgery must be taken as indicated. It is important that you take these tablets at the prescribed times, even if the pain is acceptable. This is a tried and tested basis for good pain control. If you are nevertheless still in pain, please tell us.

Before you are allowed home, you must have met a number of conditions:

  • You have eaten and drunk something;
  • You have urinated;
  • The pain is bearable;
  • The drains have been removed.

If you have to remain overnight, you may receive visitors between 19:30 and 20:00 (no more than two people). We expect you to be able to go home the following morning between 07:00 and 07:30.

You will go home with information about caring for your wound area. Also, you will get a date and time for the  appointment. Take things easy for the first 24 hours after the operation. Do not operate any machines or drive a car, do not make any important decisions, and preferably eat and drink things that are easy to digest. It is possible that you will not feel right for a while after the operation. This is due not only to the anaesthesia, but also due to the deep effects of the operation. Your body needs to recover at its own pace and needs time to do so.